Report: Red Bull could purchase Premier League club. Liverpool? Everton?

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Rumors are circling about Red Bull being in the market for a Premier League club to add to their growing portfolio of sports teams.

With soccer teams the New York Red Bulls, Red Bull Leipzig, Red Bull Brasil, Red Bull Ghana and Red Bull Salzburg already under their belt and various other sporting entities, reports of further expansion could be true given the company’s aggressive business model in the past.

But, in all seriousness, this report is coming from the Mirror, hardly England’s most believable tabloid… if there is such a thing.

So, let’s get to the facts, apparently a source close to Red Bull believes the energy drink company is actively seeking out investment opportunities in the Premier League, and believes if they acquire or invest heavily in an English club, they’ll have more chance of success of reaching out to a wider audience across Europe and the rest of the world. This is what an apparent ‘insider’ on the deal had to say.

Red Bull want a team to take into the Champions League,”It is the only market they have not reached yet. Ideally this would be in the London area, but both Everton and Liverpool interest them too because it would not take much to get them to that level.

Many have suggested that buying a Championship team and investing heavily to gain promotion to England’s top flight is better, but that doesn’t seem to interest Red Bull. They want to go for a top team rather than wasting money and never clambering out of England’s second-tier, which, let’s face it, is almost a lottery as up to 15 teams each season have a realistic chance of taking the three promotion spots to the PL.

Premier League seems to be the main aim, but would Liverpool or Everton really sell out their prestigious history and brand just for a quick cash solution? I think not. Perhaps the money from Red Bull would buy/pay for the stadium expansion both teams are hoping for. Maybe they’d then be renamed “Red Bull Anfield” or “Red Bull Goodison.”

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Could ‘Red Bull Anfield’ or ‘Red Bull Goodison’ be added to Red Bull’s stadium portfolio?

Again, I’m not sure how well that would go down.

Some of the teams in London could be a more viable option, but without a huge influx of cash, can we really see the likes of West Ham, Crystal Palace or anybody else other than Tottenham, Arsenal or Chelsea making the Champions League anytime soon from England’s capital? I think not. However, if it ever did happen, surely there would be some kind of link up between MLS’ very own Red Bull side, the New York Red Bulls, in terms of player loans and other spin offs. That would be great for RBNY.

Anyway, if Red Bull want to invest in a Premier League team, they may want to buy a Championship team desperate for cash, that would be their best bet. Look at Cardiff City’s Malaysian owner Vincent Tan rebranding the Bluebirds with red kits and Malaysian dragons on the logo. And then there’s Hull City, bought by Egyptian Assem Allam wanting to drop AFC from Hull City’s name and rebrand them as “Hull City Tigers.” Both came up from the Championship last season after struggling financially, and are now lording it in the PL.

Both ownership groups at Hull and Cardiff seem to think a rebrand, in colors and name, is completely fine. Obviously the fans aren’t best pleased, but if the teams are performing well in the PL and the owners are splashing the cash to bring in top players, can the supporters really have too many complaints?

Creating a new image, new logo and new nickname seems to be all the rage amongst PL clubs, so surely teams won’t mind slapping the “Red Bull” brand in front of their team name…

So, which will it be? Red Bull Everton or Red Bull Liverpool?

Everton loses Coleman to leg break on Ireland duty

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A horror tackle from Wales’ Neil Taylor snapped Seamus Coleman‘s leg in gruesome fashion on Friday.

Taylor was given a red card, and Coleman was stretched off the pitch in the 0-0 draw.

[ MORE: UEFA World Cup qualifying wrap ]

Ireland manager Martin O’Neill confirmed what was apparent from the match replay: the Everton man has a broken ankle.

“It’s a bad break. He’s a fantastic player and character. It’s a major blow for the lad, his club and us.

“Apparently it wasn’t the best challenge in the world – I haven’t seen it. He’s gone to hospital. I saw his reaction immediately and it didn’t look good. He was holding is leg up and it didn’t look good.

This is not only awful for the player, but causes stress as Everton mounts its assault on the Top Six. The right back has also manned right mid for Ronald Koeman this season, and has four goals and four assists in 26 Premier League matches.

Mason Holgate, Muhamed Besic, and Phil Jagielka have played some right back for Everton, while Ramiro Funes Mori has deputized at left back.

Emotional McClean speaks after honoring deceased teammate (video)

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After wearing the No. 5 to honor of his recently deceased teammate, James McClean met with the media following Ireland’s 0-0 draw with Wales in World Cup qualifying on Friday.

McClean played with Ryan McBride at Derry City, and left Ireland camp to attend funeral services after McBride died following a match last weekend. McClean was also mourning the death of friend and Sinn Féin politician Martin McGuinness.

Throw in a gruesome injury to teammate Seamus Coleman and, in McClean’s words, “I’ve had better weeks”.

[ MORE: UEFA World Cup qualifying wrap ]

McClean, 27, spoke with evident emotion following a Man of the Match turn in Ireland’s draw (video below).

“It was a really tough week. The lads here have been great. They rallied around me. The manager was first class as well. He let me go up to Derry there on Tuesday and say my goodbyes. It’s been a tough week with Seamus injury as well. It’d been nice if we had have got a win and ended on a positive note, but it wasn’t to be.

“(McBride and McGuinness) were going through my thoughts today. I wanted to put in a performance that would make them proud. In the national anthem and the moment’s applause, holding my wee girl, it was emotional but I tried to put that in the right way into my performance. Hopefully tonight I’ve done the lads proud.”

World Cup qualifiers: Wales in trouble; Buffon hits 1000

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Friday’s matches mark the midway point of the main round of qualifying in UEFA, and the tables remain tight near the top of Groups D and G.

[ MORE: Smalling hurt, Gibson called up ]

Group I, however, is seeing some distance between first and second thanks to Croatia’s result versus Ukraine.

Republic of Ireland 0-0 Wales

Neil Taylor was sent off in the 69th minute for Wales, whose World Cup hopes are in trouble.

Seamus Coleman was stretchered off after the tackle, with a scary-looking injury that will leave Everton fans sick in more ways than one. Coleman’s leg was broken, and left dangling by the challenge.

Ireland couldn’t take advantage of the sending off, and failed in a bid to overtake Serbia for first in Group D. The Irish trail on goal differential, and will host Serbia on Sept. 5.

But Wales will rue the result more, remaining four points back of second-place Ireland. Chris Coleman’s side drops a point behind Austria as well, and will not have Taylor or Gareth Bale (card accumulation) in its next match. That comes against leaders Serbia.

Italy 2-0 Albania

Daniele De Rossi scored a 12th minute penalty kick won by Andrea Belotti, and Ciro Immobile scored late to provided the goals in Gianluigi Buffon’s 1000th appearance for club and country. Fittingly, it ended in a clean sheet. The match was briefly delayed after flares were thrown onto the field.

Spain 4-1 Israel

David Silva, Vitolo, and Diego Costa stakes the Spaniards to a three-goal lead, with Lior Refaelov ruining David De Gea‘s clean sheet with 11 minutes to play. Isco scored the match’s final goal.

Spain remains atop Group G on goal differential, eight better than second place Italy. Israel is four points behind both.

Croatia 1-0 Ukraine

Fiorentina’s Nikola Kalinic’s 38th minute goal was enough for the hosts, and Croatia is now five points clear of Ukraine and three above Iceland midway through qualifying.

Elsewhere
Austria 2-0 Moldova — RB Leipzig’s Sabitzer nabs winner
Liechtenstein 0-3 Macedonia — Ilija Nestorovski bags brace
Kosovo 1-2 Iceland — Sigurdsson PK the match winner
Georgia 1-3 Serbia — Mitrovic, Tadic lead the way
Turkey 2-0 Finland — Brace for Cenk Tosun

Boro’s Gibson called to England after injury to Man Utd’s Smalling

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Scoring goals has been the biggest problem for Middlesbrough in its return to the Premier League, and that overshadows how well the Northeast club has defended its own goal.

Ben Gibson has been a huge part of that, and now he’ll earn the chance to represent his nation thanks to an injury to Chris Smalling. Gibson will join England ahead of Sunday’s home World Cup qualifier against Lithuania.

[ MORE: Podolski leads Germany past England ]

Gibson has far and away been Boro’s best player, leading the side in blocked shots and clearances. The blocked shots total is tied for ninth in the Premier League, 11 behind current leader and new England teammate Michael Keane.

Smalling’s undisclosed injury is a bigger problem for Manchester United, which had already lost center back depth on England duty when Phil Jones was hurt.